One of the traits successful people share is their desire for constant learning. When you have a growth mindset like that, the sky is the limit and anything is possible.

Well, my newest Facebook friend is almost in the sky, she’s 6 foot 11.5 inches tall. Her name is Marvadene “Bubbles” Anderson. I first met Bubbles after her first high school basketball game back in 2009 when she was ONLY 6 foot 10.5 inches tall. A wonderful young lady who has a growth mindset. Enjoy the video of us below and take notice how her goals were to learn as much as she could.


The only limits we have in this world are the ones we put on ourselves.

During my TEDxPrincetonLibrary talk, I mentioned the greatest joke—the one we tell ourselves.

I can’t do this, or I can’t do that.

That’s limiting.

At Billy Donovan’s Coaching Clinic (above), I had all of the NCAA and NBA coaches stand up and promise to do their best. They agreed. I then told them to reach their right arms in the air as high as they could and hold it. After that, I told them to do the impossible…reach a quarter inch higher.

They all did.

They promised to do their best, but each and every one of them did better than their “best.”

What does this mean?

There’s no such thing as trying your best.


Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


So here I am in Gainesville, Florida getting ready to speak at the prestigious, Billy Donovan Coaching Clinic at the University of Florida. 50 of the top college basketball and NBA coaches have been invited to this two day event filled with information and networking for the upcoming season. I will be speaking tomorrow night after Steve Clifford of the Orlando Magic and Bob Bender of the Atlanta Hawks. The topic? Building toughness in your team and individuals.

How do you do it? Well, for starters, everyone needs to play as a team. Babe Ruth said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

TEAM—Together Everyone Achieves More…as long as..there’s a Total Effort from All Members.

It’s good to be the best ON the team; it’s better to be the best FOR the team.

Stay tuned for more from the Sunshine State.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Yesterday, I talked about one of my she-roes, my mother.

Today, I want to talk about another one of my she-roes, the great Rayna DuBose (ABOVE at the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore with yours truly).

For those of you who complain about the little things in life, after reading today’s message, there’s a good chance you will never complain again.

From Rayna’s website:

What started as a dream in 2001 quickly turned into a disaster for Rayna DuBose, a highly recruited student who was granted a full athletic scholarship to play Division I Women’s Basketball at Virginia Tech. Rayna entered Virginia Tech in 2001 as a part of the women’s team which was in the Big East Conference at the time. By the time April 2002 had approached, Rayna was struck with a deadly bacterial disease known as meningococcal meningitis, which then led to 96 days in the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, with collapsed organs, non-functioning kidneys which had her on dialysis, in a coma, liver problems and worst of all no blood circulation to her hands. She was a vegetable fighting for her life. Soon enough the day came when all four of her limbs were amputated and she became a bi-lateral amputee.

After the pain, therapy and what seemed like torture, Rayna returned back to Virginia Tech in the summer of 2003 to return to her normal college life as if nothing had ever happened. With a year off from school in 2002 she still remained active, taking on-line classes and staying a part of the Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team by serving as a Student Assistant Coach, still traveling and being a part of the team. In 2003 she received the Most Courageous Award at the Men’s Final Four in New Orleans. In 2005 she received the Wilma Rudolph Award. She was also given the 2009 National Ethnic Coalition Organization Congressional Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and was the 2009 McDonalds Athlete of the Day for the Military Paralympics. Rayna has also made appearances on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, CBS Sports, the CBS Early Show, Cayman Islands news, and local news stations. Just recently completed the USA a2 sitting volleyball training camp.

I caught up with my inspirational friend earlier today on Facebook (Yes, she uses Facebook—in fact Rayna and I text all the time).

The first time I met Rayna, I asked her what she did first thing in the morning.

She said, “Put on my arms and legs.”

Anyone feel like complaining about the fact that it’s “Monday”?!?

Today, Rayna told me, you have to appreciate what you have because you never know what can happen. She has actually said that becoming an amputee was the best thing that ever happened to her because now she is helping others.


DuBose also said that the secret to life is to love yourself. I like that.

I asked Rayna if she thought anything was possible.

“EVERYTHING is possible depending on how bad you want it and how hard you will work for it.”

That’s mental toughness.

Rayna does not feel that she is handicapped. It just takes her a little longer to do some things. She even drives when she goes out with her friends!

Sports and life is not about what happens to us, it’s all about how we respond.

So the next time you feel like complaining or feel that you can’t do something, remember Rayna’s words.



Today on Success Hotline, my friend and mentor, Dr. Rob Gilbert shared a great quote, the eight most powerful words…

“Do the thing and you’ll have the power.”


Today, I also gave a workshop on mental toughness at Nick DiPillo’s basketball skills camp. Afterwards, I spent some time with Nick and Hamady Ndaiye, the 7′ 0″ center for the Washington Wizards (above).

Hamady Ndaiye, or “H” as I now call him, did the thing and now he has the power.

“H” only started playing basketball six years ago and now he’s in the NBA. He admits there are challenges and that he has negative thoughts, but in his mind, there are no limits regarding how far he can go.

According to DiPillo, nobody works harder than “H.” As a matter of fact, DiPillo said, “He’s had nothing handed to him. He’s worked for every minute of playing time, and every spot on every team he’s played on. His work ethic is unmatched, and his enthusiasm is infectious. He’s the epitome of a team player.”

That’s the “thing” and “H” is doing it. And he wasn’t even a starter for Rutgers University until the end of his senior year!

The other thing that impresses me about “H” is that he is determined.

Hamady Ndaiye does not strive to do his best…

Hamady Ndaiye strives to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Everybody knows what to do, but very few people do what they know.

“Do the thing and you’ll have the power.”


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Hollie Holcombe.

Earlier today, I spoke to about 40 young basketball players at Nick DiPillo’s Spring Break Skills Camp. A key point I brought up was that failure was inevitable. Everyone fails. It’s part of the process.

Michael Jordan got cut from his basketball team in high school, but he didn’t give up.

Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times when trying to invent the lightbulb.

Babe Ruth hit the most home runs, but he also had the most strikeouts. And each time The Babe failed, he said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

How does this relate to you? Let me put it to you this way…


Bounce back today!


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Nick DiPillo, former WNBA assistant coach of the New York Liberty.

I had a meeting of the minds today with Nick DiPillo. We were talking about mental toughness in basketball…and life.

I asked him what the biggest challenges were for basketball players.

One common challenge was that some players lacked focus. They were thinking about the wrong things at the wrong time.

Many young basketball think about homework, other sports or other external factors when practicing or competing.

The pro basketball players think about the commercial they need to shoot or other commitments they may need to tend to after practice or the game.

The specific distraction may be different for young and pro basketball players, but the challenge is the same—they have the wrong focus.

The average or below average players are thermometers—they focus on what’s happening on the outside, other than basketball.

The great basketball players are thermostats—they can change their internal temperature, re-focus and kick butt on the task at hand.

Mental Toughness Tip: Before practice or competition, make a list of specific issues that may be concerning you. Write them down. Keep them in your locker and forget about them until the end of your session. Stay focused on the present moment, that’s where the power is.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to all the great basketball/tennis players, coaches and parents that attended my “Mental Edge” seminar.

In my seminar today, in conjunction with the great Micah Lancaster’s basketball session, I talked about how to get the mental edge in sports and life. I shared some of the mental secrets of the world’s greatest athletes.

One of the keys I stressed was that knowing the mental secrets was not good enough–you need to APPLY them.

Information is nothing without implementation.

Everyone knows what they need to do, but most people don’t do it.

And here’s the secret…

A real champion does what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they feel like it or not.

You don’t have to feel like a champion to act like a champion. It’s a choice, and it can begin right now.

A special thanks to Brian Klatsky for making “The Mental Edge” possible today.